GUN LAKE

Travis Trasher, Author, Travis Thrasher, Author . Moody $12.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8024-1748-0

Less is more, and cutting a third of the pages from this overly ambitious suspense novel for the Christian market would have improved it immeasurably. After some distracting introductory pages, Thrasher (Three Roads Home ; The Watermark ) introduces his novel with a strong scene as five escaped felons hold up a Louisiana sporting goods store. Sean, Wes, Lonnie, Kurt and Craig continue to spread murder and mayhem in their wake as they head for Gun Lake in Michigan. Ossie Banks, an ex-con-turned-Christian from Chicago, ends up along for the ride and shares his faith with the "Stagworth Five." Meanwhile, Norah Britt leaves an abusive boyfriend to make a new life in Gun Lake, and in yet another subplot, Michelle Meier takes her rebellious teenage son, Jared, from their home in Illinois to Gun Lake to straighten him out. At Gun Lake, yet more story lines are introduced: an older man is haunted by a past that he'll have to face all too soon; the deputy's wife has left him, and his passion for the bottle puts his job in jeopardy. The lives of this dizzying cast of characters will converge, of course, but the many points of view, background stories and extraneous information make for challenging reading. Thrasher portrays Sean, a Jim Morrison wannabe, fairly well, albeit heavy-handedly. There is a competent suspense story with redemption themes buried in these pages, but without a stringent edit to cut it down to size, even Thrasher's fans will find it daunting. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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